Named after Africa’s “Big Five” dangerous-game animals, for which it was designed to hunt, this Krieghoff double rifle is chambered in .470 Nitro Express. The Custom Grade IV version features engraving that depicts African game scenes covering the entire receiver.
Once your bank account recovers, prepare for another pounding—this time on your shoulder. Chambered in .577 Nitro Express, here’s a rifle that can handle all the dangerous-game animals inlaid in gold on its massive receiver—buffalo, lion and elephant—and look very good doing it. The 12-pound double comes with a fitted oak and leather case.
Think of this “20-bore” as a mere example of what Purdey can do. The guns from the London maker are typically bespoke, meaning the customer specifies every aspect from action type and barrel length to the very piece of wood used for the stock and the engraving design. Purdey will even render engraving from a photograph. According to a company spokesman birddogs are the main subjects, but in at least one case a customer wished to have his wife engraved on a gun.
Some of the guns at the SCI Convention are far from new and have quite a history, which adds even more to their value. Take the Colt Liberty 100 revolver, for example. The single-action .44-40 Winchester was commissioned to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the Statue of the Liberty in 1986. This revolver, its case and accessories incorporate steel, copper and wood elements removed from the Statue of Liberty during its restoration in the mid-1980s. The gun appeared on the cover of the July 1986 issue of American Rifleman.
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John Bolliger’s Mountain Riflery Signature Series .375 H&H: $47,500
Based on a tuned and enhanced pre-’64 Winchester Model 70 action mated to a Krieger octagonal barrel, this bolt gun even comes with matching, fully engraved scope bases and rings. Consider it a bargain; one of Bolliger’s rifles reportedly sold at a 1992 auction for $225,000.
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Connecticut Shotgun Manufacturing Company A10: $32,500
The falling-block design makes it a classic, while the color-casehardened receiver and exhibition-grade English walnut stock makes it a beauty. This slick little single-shot is chambered in .300 Win. Mag. and comes with a 1-MOA accuracy guarantee.
We couldn’t help but save the biggest, the baddest, the most expensive for last. This beast-slayer from Holland & Holland is chambered in .600 Nitro Express. If the fire-breathing demons engraved on its receiver ever came to life, this would be the rifle that saves the day. Question is, even if you can afford this brute, are you man enough to carry it?
The annual SCI Convention has long been known for its displays of high-dollar firearms, and this year’s gathering in Las Vegas—the 44th in the organization’s history—is no exception. Here you’ll find hundreds of examples of rifles and shotguns with stunning stocks, extravagant engraving, precious metal inlays and finely tuned actions from iconic names like Holland & Holland, Purdey and Rigby.
These firearms are the best of the best. Most of them are made to order based on the customer’s wishes and are truly one of a kind. In some ways, they are more art than tool, and they represent the epitome of centuries of gun-making craft. Gun companies are happy to take your order at the convention, but make sure you don’t need a new vehicle or house first.